When Patsy Fuller became human resources director for the Town of Greeneville in 2012, she was tasked with developing, implementing and sustaining a wellness program with Laughlin Memorial Hospital and Takoma Regional Hospital.
The program launched in January 2014, and in its first year saw sick days drop by almost 50 percent, along with a sharp reduction in insurance claims.
Fuller partnered with Rural Resources Executive Director Sally Causey to educate participants about the value of healthy food and exercise.
Getting with the program
The result was a local, adult-based version of the 5-2-1-0 program, which began in Maine and was targeted to children.
The numbers stand for:
- 5 servings of vegetables
- 2 hours or less of recreational screen time
- 1 hour of physical exercise
- 0 sugary drinks
— every day.
“We had our Food Security Task Force meeting for years to figure out how to get something going,” Causey says.
“The grant gave us a chance to do something that everyone in town could be a part of.”
“So we purchased campaign materials and posters and designed a brochure. We also decided to partner with the town’s employees.”
That led to challenges, because police and fire employees don’t keep the same hours as office personnel, so presentations were given at different times of day.
The buy-in was strong and immediate.
“This program was a perfect addition to what we were already doing, and it has a competitive aspect that the different departments just loved,” she says.
“They get really excited when they can go up against each other.”